There are a multitude of rewards credit cards to choose from, each of which offers a unique slate of benefits. The Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) Rewards Visa (NYSE:V) Card is one example. Here's how to determine if it's the right card for you.
The objective when choosing a rewards credit card is to identify the one that will maximize your rewards without causing you to change your spending habits. If you already drive a lot, for instance, then a card that offers high rewards on purchases of gas might be best for you. If you shop frequently at a particular store, by contrast, then that store's co-branded card may be preferable.
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card caters to people who shop on the e-commerce platform's website. This comes through loud and clear in its slate of rewards:
- New cardholders get a $50 Amazon.com gift card upon approval
- Earn 3% back at purchases at Amazon.com
- Earn 2% back at gas stations, restaurants and drugstores
- Earn 1% back on all other purchases
- No annual fee
Strictly speaking, the Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card isn't a cashback card. The rewards are earned as points; you get one point for every $0.01 you earn in rewards. If you use the card to buy $100, for instance, then you'll earn 200 points, which give you $2 worth of credits that can be redeemed to offset Amazon.com purchases in the future.
That said, at the election of the cardholder, the rewards can also be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, travel, and more, according to Amazon.com. If your objective is to maximize the benefit of the card, in fact, you shouldn't use the points to offset Amazon.com purchases, as purchases with points don't accrue rewards like a purchase with the Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card.
Either way, because of the rewards structure, this card is best for people who are already frequent Amazon shoppers. While you could get 2% cash back on Amazon purchases using the Citi Double Cash Card, for instance, which I believe is the best all-around rewards card for the average American, that's still meaningfully less than the 3% back offered by the Amazon card.
Of course, given the wide array of rewards cards that are currently available, cardholders can have their cake and eat it, too, by signing up for multiple cards. If you're a Costco member as well, for instance, its new co-branded card with Visa will not only allow you to shop at the membership warehouse chain, it will also give you 4% cash back on purchases of gasoline.
For people who spend a lot at the grocery store, meanwhile, then the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card may be worth considering. It pays 6% cash back on groceries (up to $6,000 spent annually). And that's in addition to earning unlimited 3% back at gas stations and department stores. The downside is its $75 annual fee.
The point here is twofold. If you shop a lot at Amazon and are looking for a rewards card, then its Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card is worthy of consideration. But to truly maximize your all-around rewards, it's best to supplement this card with one or two that offer equally generous rewards for other categories of spending as well.
John Maxfield has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon.com, Costco Wholesale, and Visa. The Motley Fool recommends American Express. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.